Using the Flow Builder

In this article, we'll cover the specifics of how the Flow builder works, the user interface elements on the Flow builder, and how to use it to create sophisticated Flows.

In this article:


To enter the Flow builder go to your Flows page and click on the Add button (the blue + sign circle on the bottom left) and Add a flow.

Inside the Flow builder

Quick video overview of the Flow builder:
You create flows in Encharge using a powerful drag-and-drop flow builder by dragging and dropping and connecting Steps on to an area called the Canvas.
The Flow builder consist of the following user interface elements:
Step selector.
Canvas.
Canvas navigation.
Activate flow and flow settings.
Interface elements of the Flow builder. Click image to view full size.
Step selector
You create flows in Encharge using a powerful drag-and-drop flow builder by dragging and dropping and connecting Steps on to an area called the Canvas.
The Flow builder consists of the following user interface sections:
  • Step Selector.
  • Canvas (with Flow Steps).
  • Canvas navigation.
  • Activate Flow and Flow settings.

Click on the image to see it in full size.

Below we're going to explore each section separately.


Step Selector

The Step Selector is the drawer that contains all of the available Steps in the Flow builder grouped into Triggers, Actions, and Filters. You drag and drop Steps from here on to the Canvas.
You can show and hide the Step Selector by clicking the blue plus sign at the bottom.

Canvas

Think of the Canvas as your blank sheet. You drag and drop Steps on to the Canvas, then connect these Steps to create Flows. 
  • For a Flow to work, you must have at least one Trigger step and one Action step connected. 
  • You can have more than one Trigger in a Flow.
  • You can connect each step to as many Steps as you like. You simply click the arrow at the bottom middle of the step and drag it to the step you'd like to connect.
  • You can't connect a Trigger step to another Trigger step. For a Flow to work, you need each Trigger connected to an Action or Filter step.
  • Filters are the Steps that sit between Triggers and Actions that allow you to build more personalized Flows. Filters are optional but used often in Flows.

The direction of Steps/Flows

The direction of your Steps doesn't have an impact on how the Flow works. You can align your Steps/Flows vertically, horizontally, diagonally, or in any other way that you prefer. What determines the order of the Steps are the connections (arrows) between Steps and the direction in which they point. 
For example, below we have the exact same Flow aligned in two different ways. In both cases, the order of the Flow is the same: 
1) Typeform Submitted 
2) Check Field 
3) Yes - Send Email / No - Send Email.

Having multiple paths (sub-flows) in the same Flow

You can have multiple paths in the same Flow. See the example below where we have two sub-flows with different Triggers in the same Flow. Although these paths are not connected to each other, this setup will work perfectly fine. Once the main Flow is activated, both sub-flows will become active.


Flow Steps

Flows consist of Steps. You drag and drop Steps onto the Canvas and connect them to build Flows.
There are 3 types of Steps in Encharge:
  • Triggers – Triggers start Flows. People enter Flows through Triggers.
  • Actions – Actions do different marketing automation things, like Sending an email.
  • Filters – Filters filter people into different buckets or swimming lanes based on specific conditions.
Each step is identified by a different icon. The bull's eye for Triggers, the reversed Christmas tree for Filters, and the flash for Actions.

The elements of a Step on the Canvas

Steps in Encharge are very visual. At the top is the icon for the specific step, the name of the step, and on the right is an icon of the type of the step (Trigger, Action, or Filter).
In the content part of the step, you will find information that is unique for the specific step like the name of the email or waiting time. 
Some Steps like Send Email or Typeform Submitted have previews of the email and the form respectively.

Step metrics

At the bottom of the step, you can find how many people are currently on this step or were previously on the step. 
For instance, if you have a Wait step that shows that 10 people are here, this means that 10 people are waiting on this step before they proceed with the next step in the Flow.
Step metrics get automatically updated by the system. You do not need to refresh your browser window to update the metrics.

Note that the same person can be in a step more than one time, however, they will show only once in the Step metrics — e.g., they will count as 1 person in "are here" and "were here" sections.

Note on metrics when working with Steps with a large volume of people

Occasionally when you activate a Flow you will see that people Flow gradually from one step to another. This often happens with large segments of people.

For example, if you have a Flow that is triggered with the Entered Segment step and the Segment has thousands of people, you will see that people enter the next step after the Trigger in batches, rather than instantly. 

You don't need to wait on the Flow during this time — the Flow will work in the background as usual. Depending on the volume of the people that need to move from one step to another, we recommend checking your Flow two to 15 minutes later to evaluate.

Note on metrics when editing Steps

Editing a step will not update or reset the metrics on it. For instance, if you have a Send Email step and 50 people have already passed through that step (were sent the email), editing this step and attaching a new email to it will not reset the metrics of the step. 

If you want to have a step with clean metrics, you simply need to drag a new step to the canvas and use it instead.

Deleting and duplicating a step

When you hover on a step on the canvas you will see the Delete and Duplicate options in dark icons.

Deleting a step

Once a step is deleted, it's not possible to restore the step.

Duplicating a step

Duplicating a step will duplicate the step and its contents — the email attached, segment or event selected, and so on. However, it will not duplicate the step metrics.

Note on duplicating, deleting, and editing steps

In some steps – like Send Email, Entered Segment, Event, Segment Event) – the steps and the items attached to them are two separate items. When you're duplicating a step you're only duplicating the step on the canvas, not the email, segment, event, etc. attached to that step. Therefore, if you edit an email attached to a duplicated step you're editing the same email attached to the original step (and any other steps) — you're essentially editing the email, not the step.

This is not the case with Send Email Notification, Send Slack Notification, and Send Intercom In-app Message – with these steps the content of the step and the step are one and the same thing. Duplicating the step will also duplicate the content in it. Deleting the step will also delete the content in it.


Connecting Steps

You design Flows by connecting Steps. To connect Steps, hover on the step, click on the black arrow at the bottom middle of the step and drag it to the other step.

A link between the two Steps will be created. The pointing arrow at the end of the link indicates the direction in which the Steps Flow (i.e., the sequence of the Steps). Remember that you can design Flows in whichever direction you prefer.

To remove a link simply hover on the link (black line) and click on the red trash icon.

Links with options

Some Steps have link options allowing you to choose the required condition for a person to proceed to the next step.

For instance, the Check Email Activity filter step enables you to filter people into different paths depending on their email activity: opened, clicked, replied, etc.

Using the link options you can create personalized paths and execute different actions depending on the specific condition of the link. 

In the scenario below I'm sending an email to people that have opened an email and adding those that haven't opened any emails to a Facebook Ads audience.

Advanced tip

You can select more than one condition per link. For instance: proceed to the next step if the person has not clicked OR if the person has not replied.


Step Settings

Clicking on a step will reveal its settings. In the settings of the step, you'd often be attaching an email or selecting a specific segment, event, etc. to the step. 

On the bottom, you have Save and Cancel buttons. You can exit the step settings by saving the settings, clicking on the dark overlay above the canvas area or the small X icon at the top left.

On the right, you can find all of the available tabs for the step. By default, the Setup tab is selected.

These tabs will be different depending on the step but the two tabs that are available on all Steps are:

  • Setup – The general configuration of the step.
  • People – A preview of the people who are currently in the step or were previously in the step. Note that a person can be in a step more than one time, however, in the People preview they will show only once.

Canvas Navigation

On the bottom left of the Flow builder, we have the items that help you navigate the canvas more swiftly.
  • Gray minus (-) sign: Zoom out
  • Gray plus (+) sign: Zoom in
  • Magic wand: Auto-align Flow. This will automatically align all Steps in your Flow. Note that the Auto-align feature aligns items vertically, and once aligned it's not possible to undo the alignment.
  • Blue plus (+) sign: Show/hide the Step Selector.

Mouse movements

Apart from using the navigation, you can use your mouse to navigate the Canvas.
  • Zoom in or out using your mouse scrollbar.
  • Click, hold, and move on an empty area on the canvas to pan around.

Activate Flow

To activate a Flow click on the switch button on the bottom right of the Flow builder. Make sure to name your Flow. 
Encharge has a default 20-second delay once a Flow is activated. This is to allow you to undo the activation in due time.

Encharge saves your Flows automatically. On the right of the Flow's name, you will see the last time the Flow was saved. 
To go back to all Flows, click on Flows in the top navigation.
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